“In the use of the goods of this world, the Brother considers himself accountable to God, to his Brothers and to the poor.” (C62). The word from no.62 of the Constitutions has a similar meaning. We, as religious, are called to render accounts. We are committed to do so by our vow of poverty. What does the word accountable mean? In management dictionaries, it is said that accountant is someone who called into account due to some obligations stemming from an office or from the responsibility of managing resources belonging to others.
Evangelical Poverty had more or less been reduced to various practices of personal austerity or collective frugality, which are certainly commendable but which have little power to put society to the question. Our official statement on poverty, for example, the Constitution, had never touched on the subject of the economy and its development in society. By digging a bit more, we could find elements of obedience: our will is a spiritual good to manage. We are called, by vocation, to seek God’s Will, to live according to Providence and to live under the authority of a Superior (C57)
We could also establish links with our commitment to chastity: our body is a good to be managed and we will have to render accounts because our spiritual life finds fulfillment in the acceptation of our human condition.
“The fact of being in front involves a face to face relationship, a relationship of nearness, not only by the fact that the human feelings favour close links, but also because it places each partner (God, the Brothers and the poor) in a position whereby he can touch the other in front rather than behind or from the side or tied to. It is to be fully oneself, while being directly revealed to the other, without any possible hiding. It is a position of humility and absolute honesty.”
Our Constitutions suggest three places where we stand TO: God, our Brothers and the poor, where we must give an account of our management of goods, of our talents, of our commitments and of our services. I would like to insist some more on the to one’s Brothers because my Brothers, my Community, are the places where God is present and the place from where we are sent off into mission, towards men, especially the poorer ones.
My religious commitment invites me to follow in the footsteps of Christ who was poor (C57) while bringing our talents to bear fruits. To achieve that, the Institute places at my disposal some goods, which belong to the Church and are intended for the service of God and of men (C58). The Finance Commission is a body of the Province to propose ways and means to achieve these goals in the of the Province.